GA Trade May-Jun interactive - page 14

S P O T L I G H T S
A breakfast keynote by CraigBaart-
man, Sumter PlantManager at
Continental Tire theAmericas, LLC,
was followed byworkshops on
intercultural competences, PR
strategies, human resources and
recruitment. These sessionswerewell
received and triggered discussions.
They emphasized the importance of
sound and coherent communication,
and proved that you cannever know
enough about how cultural differ-
ences (and similarities) can boost
business productivity.
Two panel discussions focusing
on challenges and chances of the
Transatlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership, aswell as the future
of energy and resources in the
U.S., raised awarenesswithin the
German-American business commu-
nity about the prevalent issuesmany
businesses face.
T
his year’s GermanMittelstand
– Southern SME Forum took
place onMonday, April 7, in
Greenville, SC. Alongside the
conference, the 2014 GACC South
Board of Directors was elected
as part of the Annual General
Meeting. More than 220 German
and American attendees, members
and partners, as well as 23 speakers
andmoderators gathered at the
elegant Hyatt Regency Hotel to
exchange ideas while building
relationships with new business
partners. Twelve exhibitors and
ten sponsors helped tomake the
conference a great success.
The business forum connected the
best minds in the field and sought to
provide information and resources.
Leaders and business executives, as
well as official representatives,
discussed the essential role transat-
lantic relationships play inmany
industries. The daywas packedwith
informative workshops, a keynote
luncheon, panel discussions, and
many networking opportunities.
Cultivatinga culture
of knowledge sharing
The consensus among attendees was
that the GermanMittelstand success
in the U.S. marks a new paradigm for
foreign investment; one that is built
on a sustainable, strategic approach
to capitalize on the current condi-
tions of the U.S. market. In fact,
many of the German-American
companies that were present in
Greenville have, in recent years,
made a profound impact on commu-
nities throughout the South by
creating jobs and stimulating
regional growth.
GermanMittelstand –
Southern SME Forum2014
ByElisabethDoehne, GACC
SouthCarolinaGovernorNikki R. Haley
deliveringanengagingkeynote.
MartinaStellmaszek (President&CEO, GACCSouth) andMartinRichenhagen (Chairman,
President&CEO, AGCOCorporationandChairmanof theBoardofDirectors, GACCSouth)
talking to local broadcasters.
14
GermanAmerican TradeMay/June 2014
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